Wednesday, March 26, 2008

REVIEW: The Mist

The Mist

Year: 2007
Director: Frank Darabont
Starring: Thomas Jane, Laurie Holden, Marcia Gay Harden, Andre Braugher, Nathan Gamble
Distributor: Dimension Films
MPAA: Rated R

The Mist is director Frank Darabont's long in development movie that he has wanted to make since the 1980's. Its based on a short story that mastermind Stephen King made. The film was released wide on November 21, 2007 to good critical reception. The movie grossed an estimated $41 million worldwide on a budget of only $18 million. Me being a big Frank Darabont fan was eager to see this film. I mean I loved what Darabont did with Stephen King's The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption. I wasn't able to catch The Mist during its theatrical run, but that didn't stop me from grabbing the DVD release when it eventually came out.

Plot Outline:
David Drayton (Thomas Jane) is a comic artist whose house was smashed in one night by a tree during a bad storm. The next morning, he brings his son Billy (Nathan Gamble) and neighbour Brent Norton (Andre Braugher) to the local supermarket to get supplies for home repairs. Realizing the army passing by at top speed makes him wonder whats going on. The shoppers in the supermarket find themselves locked in as a mist descends upon them, with a frantic man running back to warn everyone that there's something within the mist.

The story is based on a short story written by mastermind Stephen King. Now I haven't read the original story of The Mist so I don't really know how faithful this new film is to the story of the original. I did however read online that parts of the film have been changed to fit a more current state of audience, but for the most part its the same concept. Their is one major change that I should point out. The ending has been changed and is not the same ending you have read in the short story. I don't want to ruin what the ending is, but boy is it really emotional. Its so unexpected and probably one of the most shocking endings I have ever seen in a movie. I was just so surprised by how powerful it is. Here I come hoping to see a good horror film and end up seeing a depressing one. Yeah you heard folks, The Mist isn't just a horror film. The movie has so many characters that tend to do good and bad things that make the story so depressing that it makes the film seem un-scary.

I didn't expect much from the cast, but some really proved they can be really great if they have a great director standing by them. Thomas Jane plays as David Drayton who's the main lead in the movie. He gives a great performance that really surprised me. Sure its not really noticeable in the beginning, but he really unleashes his talent later on in the movie. Laurie Holden plays as Amanda Dunfrey and she gives a pretty good performance as Dunfrey. Its obvious that shes got talent, but she doesn't truly shine in this film. Marcia Gay Harden plays as Mrs. Carmody and she gives a good performance. She proves she can be really psychotic and delusional if she wants to be. We also have Andre Braugher playing as Brent Norton and hes pretty good in his role. Although his role is short, its still effective and fun to see him in serious roles like the one he has in this movie.

The visual effects in The Mist are great. The movie revolves around this mysterious mist that is full of many creatures that are creepy in their own way. The CGI for the creatures look good for a horror film. Their are moments in The Mist that I found to be quite amazing. We see a couple shots of huge creatures that are roaming the mist and they definitely have that great look to them. Detail is very good with alot of facial hair being apparent. I was shocked to see this film not announced for high def because it would have looked marvelous on it. Since The Mist doesn't feature any scenes that have alot of color in them, parts of the film seem pale. I would have loved to see this film with alittle more color saturation because it feels alittle too pale.

The soundtrack in The Mist isn't really engaging as I would have hope it to be. The music is composed by Mark Isham who also composed such hits as Crash and In the Valley of Elah. The music isn't as great and lively as I thought it to be. The score is only so and so, but we do get some other music that seems spot on with the films intensity. The music that we get has been seen in other films too, most noticeable in the 2004 Tony Scott film "Man on Fire". The Mist also features some good bass work. Its obvious that the film relies heavily on its dialogue, but their are moments in the film where the bass really sounds full and put to good use. The dialogue is also crisp and clean with voices sounding good for the most part.

The Mist is a good adaption of Stephen King's short story. The story might start off with a slow pace, but be patient because the ending is so powerful that I found it to be quite shocking and unexpected so brace yourselves. The cast is good for the most part with Thomas Jane giving a great performance that I really enjoyed. The visual effects are great for a horror film like this with detail being very clear. The soundtrack is kind of a let down because I really wanted to be blown away by it, but I guess it sounds decent. The Mist isn't your typical horror film because the movie gets so depressing at times that it doesn't even feel like a horror movie. While I wouldn't rank this as high as Darabont's other films, but its still a good movie. I would recommend this to Stephen King fans around the world.

Grade: B-

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